Popularly known for its captivating recordings and live performances, Toledo, Ohio-based Sanctus Real's breakthrough album, The Face of Love, released in April 2006, landing at No. 2 on the Billboard Top Heetseekers chart and amassing a string of radio hits including the No. 1 songs "I'm Not Alright" and "Don't Give Up." While The Face of Love was inspired by real-life heartache and rediscovered joy, the band's fourth studio release, We Need Each Other, marked a completion of that healing process and is a call for unity. Award-winning band Sanctus Real gave fans an early preview of its upcoming, fifth studio album Pieces of A Real Heart with its brand new song, "Forgiven," which has already been a Top 10 hit at radio.
If you like the new, softer sounding "Forgiven," then you will absolutely love the entire new album. Personally, I'd say Sanctus Real's songs have matured along with the band members, similar to Switchfoot in that way. However, if you're looking for edgy rock songs like "Everything About You," "I'm Not Alright" and "Turn On The Lights" you won't really find them on this album with maybe the exception of "Take Over Me," which is one of the rockers on the album. If you liked radio hits "Something Heavenly," "Face Of Love" and "Don't Give Up," then you'll love this album, which is chock full of radio-friendly yet very personal and engaging songs including "These Things Take Time," "Lead Me" and "The Redeemer." "These Things Take Time" got me moving in a similar way to hit song "Don't Give Up." "The Way The World Turns" completes a trilogy of songs that all focus on the topic of faithfulness and the challenges in our walks as Christians to accept and give forgiveness, and also seeking Truth and Hope.
"Lead Me" is a surefire hit and is a musical response to Matt Hammitt's wife Sarah imploring him to be a better spiritual leader in their marriage and for their two young children. Having been married for 15 years and having three young daughters, this song moves me the most on the entire album. This song is a "must own" for all husbands, fathers and young men looking for an honest portrayal of the prayer of a Christian man asking God to lead their lives. I could see this song being a worship anthem for Promise Keepers. "The Redeemer," "Take Over Me" and "I Want To Get Lost" are another trilogy of songs that focus on the central themes of asking God to inhabit our inner being and truly allow the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us.
"'Til I Got To Know You," "Dear Heart," and closing song "Keep My Heart Alive" are another great trilogy of songs that focus on the theme of relying solely on the love of Jesus to truly mold our hearts and make us more like Him. "I'll Show You How To Live" is another personal song like "Lead Me," but written to Matt's children in the style of "Boys (Lesson One)" by Jars of Clay. For me, "Forgiven," "These Things Take Time," "Lead Me," "The Redeemer," "'Til I Got To Know You" and "I'll Show You How To Live" are among the best songs ever recorded by this great band. I ranked We Need Each Other my #2 album of 2008 and expect I'll find Pieces of a Real Heart in a similar position in 2010. Best overall album by one of the premier bands in Christian music.
This album is very personal and engaging. If you like Leeland, MercyMe and Jars of Clay, then you will enjoy Sanctus Real, whose musical style I consider a great blend of alternative rock and worship. I expect multiple hit songs to emerge from this album. Sanctus Real has really hit the mark with Pieces of a Real Heart.